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View Full Version : Is the Oz Open still viewed as an "inferior" slam?


cooolconchita
Apr 22nd, 2004, 10:58 AM
by the media?

I know this was true in the 70's but that was because a lot of the top players skipped it (any idea why that was?). But now everyone plays it (barring Jelly:rolleyes: ), and its fantastically well-attended. So why do journalists when listing a players achievements always put the Oz Open as the last slam? Am i completely off-track? That is what i sense is still happening both on the ATP and WTA.

Gowza
Apr 22nd, 2004, 11:15 AM
i think top players didnt play the oz open coz they thought it was to early in the season for such a big event didnt nav skip it a couple of times?

SJW
Apr 22nd, 2004, 11:36 AM
it wasn't helped by the field and the matches on the women's side this year :)

Volcana
Apr 22nd, 2004, 11:47 AM
by the media?

I know this was true in the 70's but that was because a lot of the top players skipped it (any idea why that was?). But now everyone plays it (barring Jelly:rolleyes: ), and its fantastically well-attended. So why do journalists when listing a players achievements always put the Oz Open as the last slam? Am i completely off-track? That is what i sense is still happening both on the ATP and WTA.
It's kind of improtant to point out the Australian WASN'T view as an 'inferior slam'. THE WOMEN'S SIDE was viewed as inferior. But inthe 50's 60's and early 70's Australia produced more of the top male players than any other country. (Rosewall, Newcombe, Laver, etc, etc, etc.) Of course, they also produce the most accomplished female player ever, but the level of competition was lower.

Jakeev
Apr 22nd, 2004, 11:59 AM
It's kind of improtant to point out the Australian WASN'T view as an 'inferior slam'. THE WOMEN'S SIDE was viewed as inferior. But inthe 50's 60's and early 70's Australia produced more of the top male players than any other country. (Rosewall, Newcombe, Laver, etc, etc, etc.) Of course, they also produce the most accomplished female player ever, but the level of competition was lower.
Well in the tournaments early days, most of the top European and American starts just were not up to travelling down under because of the distance and time it took to get there in those days.

It's why you see that so many Aussies, many still unknown today, had won the tournament in it's early years.

But I honestly believe the Australian Open gained real prominance once it moved to Melbourne.

Hot weather aside, I think it's considered to be the more laid back of all the Slams and it seems to be the one Major tournament players seem to feel less pressure competing in.

Rollo
Apr 22nd, 2004, 12:19 PM
Good post Jakeev:) In the days before plane travel was safe a trip to Oz took weeks by slow boat.

Hell-until the early 80s even the US Open and the French were "inferior" slams. The brutal fact is that the Aussie was ALWAYS seen as inferior 4th slam up until about 1988-when it acheived some parity with new facilities and a 128 player draw on both sides.

This is true of the men as well as the women by the way-though the men's fields were often better in years when Davis Cup came to Oz. At times even Aussie males like Laver and Rosewall questioned if the Aussie even deserved slam status at all-forget about it being "equal".

I'm not ripping the Aussies. :hatoff: to them for turning OZ into the Asian slam.

A'DAM
Apr 22nd, 2004, 12:33 PM
I think that is already kinda tradicion that we have imprtance of slams:

1 WIMBLEDON
2 US Open
3 French Open
4 Australian Open

If thats a wright I dont think so but Im affraid no one would ever change that :rolleyes:

Andy T
Apr 22nd, 2004, 12:58 PM
Although the Australian Open was the 4th Grand Slam, I disagree that the women's Oz was weaker than the men's in the 60s. The fact is that half the top 10 during much of the 60s were Aussies - Court and Turner were constant top tenners, Lehane and Ebbern were top tenners in the early 60s and then Melville and Krantzcke came along. Judy Tegart also reached top 10 status in the second half of the decade. Helen Gourlay, Lesley Hunt, Evonne Goolagong, Dianne Fromholtz and Wendy Turnbull carried on the tradition into the 1970s. The Australian women were the best in the world at this point. Court won 21 slams 1970-72, Goolagong won 2 and Turner won 2 to make 28. In addition, Melville, Tegart, Lehane and Gourlay reached finals.

By contrast the US totalled 15. Darlene Hard (three) and Karen Susman (one) were the only two American women to win a slam 1960-65 and BJK (nine) and Nancy Richey (two) likewise 1966-72. Only Graebner (once) and Casals (twice) reached finals.

The Americans usually sent down a top player or two during the 60s - Darlene Hard (62), Nancy Richey (66 & 67) BJK ( 65, 68 & 69), Carole Graebner (65,66), Rosie Casals (67,68 & 69) - as did the Europeans and South Americans - Ann Jones (65, 69), Christine Truman (60, 63 65), Frankie Durr (65,67,69), and South Americans Yola Ramirez (62), Maria Bueno (60 & 65). So in most years even if the depth wasn't there, the number of top players was greater than in most other tournaments apart from the big three.

Rollo
Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:00 PM
Adam-I think many would agree with you-though others would put the French second now. It's the only slam on clay, while the US and Oz have to share honors as slams on hard courts.

SpikeyAidanm
Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:02 PM
It's location, time, history and prizemoney unfortunately overrides its facilities + atmosphere, so yes.

Experimentee
Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:14 PM
Historically it used to be not as good as the other Slams, but now that everything is pretty much equal it shouldnt really be viewed as inferior anymore.

alfonsojose
Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:16 PM
I love AO.

Rollo
Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:18 PM
True Experimentee-nowadays they are more or less equal-a plus for our sport IMO:bounce:

Andy T
Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:57 PM
The Aussies have got the profile as the people's slam and the Asia-Pacific image right but the surface is wrong and the timing should be a tiny bit later (a week or two). Wimbledon is slipping because of the ridiculously short grasscourt season. RG has been helped enormously by the buoyant state of French tennis and the effect of new technology on the claycourt game (especially for women). The US is suffering because of the facilities, so there is movement all round.

tommyk75
Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:59 PM
We need to get some things clear. The Australian Open got rotten draws when it was held at the END of the year, in December just before Christmas-time. Many top players were tired, didn't want to make the long trip, and/or wanted to pick up easy money at exhibitions.

The Open's move to the BEGININNG of the year was actually a huge help to the tournament as the players tended to be more eager, with it being the very beginning of the season.

I think everyone recognizes the AO as being a legitimate, prestigious Slam now. The only reasons why it's considered a shade less important the other three are: 1) It offers considerably prize money than the other Slams 2) It's held very close to the Super Bowl, which takes attention away from it in the U.S. & 3) People are still talking about its past as an inferior Slam, which it WAS for both the men and the women before 1988 or so. The past shouldn't matter perhaps, but it does affect people's perception.

And Rollo's comment about AO having to share the same (well, almost the same anyway) surface as another surface (U.S. Open) applies as well, I believe. I wish there was some way of turning all of the Aussie Open into an indoor carpet event. It's so impractical to be a real possibility, but still, it would be so logical (4 slams representing the 4 different surfaces). Sigh...

SJW
Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:02 PM
I think that is already kinda tradicion that we have imprtance of slams:

1 WIMBLEDON
2 US Open
3 French Open
4 Australian Open

If thats a wright I dont think so but Im affraid no one would ever change that :rolleyes:
i agree :)

switz
Apr 23rd, 2004, 05:22 AM
I think that is already kinda tradicion that we have imprtance of slams:

1 WIMBLEDON
2 US Open
3 French Open
4 Australian Open

If thats a wright I dont think so but Im affraid no one would ever change that :rolleyes:

i think it has changed a bit. of course wimbledon will always hold that image as the home of tennis (and that's a good thing), but nowadays i don't think the any where near as many players grow up viewing winning wimbledon as their major goal, and in reality a lot of players don't even like it.

tennisIlove09
Apr 23rd, 2004, 05:25 AM
I don't really know...but in Bud Collins "Total Tennis", he suggests numerous times that Wimbledon and the US Open are two biggest titles in tennis.

CanadianGuy
Apr 23rd, 2004, 05:56 AM
Yes, Europeans always say they dream to win Roland Garros, historically Wimbledon has been around for a long long time. So these two are obviously more important. About US Open, because this is the slam Venus and Serena want to win the most, and they make sure everyone knows it. Not to mention the lavish stadiums. So it just becomes more famous than Australian Open. So Sometimes Australian is always the one that's overlooked. After all, it is a not surface so clear cut like clay or grass.

Sharapova's_Boy
Apr 23rd, 2004, 06:10 AM
Ugh people, if the Open was to moved back even a week, it would lose so many visitors - Because school holidays end in the last week of the Open.

When I attended this year, I have to say most of the people there were people of my age (eg 15 & 16) so it would be simply a terrible move if it were to move.

blablabla
Apr 23rd, 2004, 06:24 AM
1 ROLAND GARROS ...because of the skill-level required to win it. Best venue.
2 US Open ...great atmosphere.
3 Wimbledon ...more of a 'specialist' event these days but still has the tradition factor
4 Australian Open ...why does it take place so early into the new year ?

go hingis
Apr 23rd, 2004, 06:32 AM
lol, I thought the US Open was an entertainment event like wrestling.

Players would take any grand slam and i'm sure if two players had one slam each but from two different slams you wouldn't say one is more of a slam winner then the other.

English and older players want to win Wimbledon esp serve and volleyers eg: Mark P
American players would love to win at home
French as above
Australian as above

Depending on which events on at the time the players will have a reason why they want to win that slam the most Eg: Kim wanted to win the French as it was the closest to home
but when the Australian open came she wanted to win it because she felt with the home crowd loving her this was the one she felt it was like playing in front of her home crowd. I know it might not be her exact words but I hope you can see my point.

Stefwhit
Apr 23rd, 2004, 08:03 AM
Wimbledon- Of all the GrandSlams this one carries with it the strongest sense of history and tradition. Itís the one slam that gives tennis it's roots. Thatís why those who win this one probably view this slam in such high regards. In 1974 three of the four slams were on grass courts..... I think as tennis evolves it's trying to get away from it's prissy stuck-up image, so the importance of Wimbledon has suffered as a result. This grandslam is the least significant in terms of the game of tennis and how itís played through out the rest of the year.

Pete Sampras- ďWimbledon is as good as it gets in tennis.Ē
Alex Stevenson- ďThe history of Wimbledon is kind of lost. A lot of players think itís just another major, and they donít realize the value of it. Itís a different for me. I love the stage, and itís the best stage in tennis.
Marcelo Rios- ďWe grew up in a different world. Weíre another generation. We respect Wimbledon itís still a grandslam and it still holds so much tradition. But you donít have to win it to make your name in tennis.

US Open- Around the time where tennis popularity starting rising to new heights, a lot of the top players were from America- so that naturally created a high importance on the US Open. Of all the slams, the US Open seems to be less ďopenĒ to one-slam wonders, which works to itís charm. More often than not, the top players at any given time, are usually the ones who win this tournament. In terms of players, this has to be one of the most important slams and players rarely miss it, injuries withstanding.

French Open- In the last 15 years the European spring clay-court season has become a thriving economical part of today's tennis. The winner of this event gets bragging rights as the Master/Mistress of clay, which is big deal.

Alex Correjta- ďWe have no problem with Wimbledon, but for many of us the important this is to play well on clay and hard courts.Ē


Oz- I think back when there were loads of top Australian player that helped in making this slam one of the greats, but now of days it seems like itís at the bottom of both the fans and players list of slams. Dokic hardly plays there and if a player misses a slam chances are it going to be the Oz Open. Because itís in the beginning of the year the results are often dismissed as too early in the season to really mean anything.

I think in time focus from each major will shift to reflect current taste. Each slam will probably have their moment in the sun as being ďthe slamĒ. But Wimbledon will always be unique in both itís history and now because there just arenít that many tournaments on the surface anymore....

Stefwhit
Apr 23rd, 2004, 08:46 PM
...also maybe the time difference has a lot to do with it. I'm not sure what the time difference is between Europe and Australia, but here in the states most matches are played during bedtime hours. I love all the slams, but I would have to say that Oz is my least favorite as well.

Venus Forever
Apr 23rd, 2004, 09:17 PM
Although it is not considered "inferior" now, in a way it still is, at least in the US.

Think about it, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open are all broadcasted on non-cable channels during the weekends.

The Australian Open is still only broadcasted by ESPN.

In the US, it still is, but I doubt that will ever change. I think the time zone is what really kills the Australian Open.

The finals don't start until about 10 o'clock at night in the Eastern time zone, which is about 3 in the morning in London, and 4 in the morning in Paris.

Will it ever rise to the standards of the other three?